The Phone Booth’s Big-Screen Makeover

United Center Mitsubishi ScreensHere’s the latest on the†Verizon Center’s†new screens:†Mitsubishi Electric is installing the first-ever indoor High Definition LED scoreboard, and it looks to be a doozy.

According to LEDs Magazine, the Phone Booth’s four†new screens will be 14′ 5″ high and 25′ 2″ wide (total screen area of 365 square feet each). The†United Center†in Chicago has a similar setup, though it’s two years older, a bit smaller, and not true HD (take that, Blackhawks!). The photo at the right is from the United Center, just to give you a taste of what’s to come; for more information on the Verizon Center’s new system, read on:

In addition to the high-definition boards, the new center-hung scoreboard will also feature four 10mm 5-foot, 3-inch high by 25-foot 6-inch wide LED video matrixes and two 20mm LED rings.

“Arenas are being built all over the country and in order to compete, you need to be ahead of the curve,” said Abe Pollin, chairman of Washington Sports & Entertainment. “Partnering with ANC Sports and Mitsubishi Electric, who have created the first true high definition scoreboard, is a perfect example and we’re excited to be able to expand our resume of firsts for sports and entertainment facilities.”

Operated through ANC’s unique VisionSOFT software application, the signage system is capable of exhibiting separate game prompts, statistics and 3D animation in real time to build an energetic environment throughout the building.

“We are excited to partner with Washington Sports & Entertainment in delivering a one-of-a-kind event experience at Verizon Center,” said Jerry Cifarelli, president and CEO of ANC Sports Enterprises. “Combining Mitsubishi’s technology with ANC’s revolutionary software and graphic content will create visuals that indoor entertainment has never been able to feature before.”

No official go-live date has yet been announced; it’s slated for completion some time this autumn. Soon the Verizon Center’s video system will be the class of both the NHL and NBA.

I am excited about the system not only for Capitals games, but also for concerts. This summer I’ve seen the Virgin Festival at Pimlico, Rush at Nissan Pavilion, and The Police in Hershey. All three shows were a blast, but the screens were woefully inadequate at each venue.

The Phone Booth is already an appealing concert spot due to its public transportation-friendly location; the heinous†traffic to and from the three locations mentioned above seriously detracted from the overall concert†experience. These new HD screens will make the Verizon Center an even better concert destination than it already is, and they should certainly enhance the in-game experience for Capitals and Wizards fans alike.

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12 Responses to The Phone Booth’s Big-Screen Makeover

  1. Capsaholic says:

    Looks sweeeeeeet!
    Might have to sit upper deck now & watch the HD replays.

  2. buttercup says:

    I’m so excited for this. If you’re in the 400s like me, it really helps to watch big-screen at times.
    Not to burst any bubbles, but I’ve seen two concerts at Verizon Center and they didn’t even use the big screen. They just pull it up to the ceiling and you don’t see it.

  3. James Mirtle says:

    Guess I picked the wrong year to come down; looks like quite the addition.
    They fixed up SkyDome this year, and the new scoreboard makes a huge difference to the game-going experience.

  4. VT Caps Fan says:

    Jealous that you went to all 3 of those concerts. Well done.
    Everyone’s going HD. Even me!!!

  5. maruk says:

    OC, I saw the Police at Hershey as well. I was stuck in the parking lot for 2 1/2 hours. What was your damage?
    I caught Rush in Va Beach, and traffic moves infinitely faster there than it does at Nissan.

  6. OrderedChaos says:

    Maruk, that sounds about right: I think we were stuck in the parking lot for about 2 hours after the show. Luckily we had some beverages remaining in the cooler. 🙂
    The traffic *into* the Hershey show was the really terrible part. It was crawling the whole way; what should have taken about 30 minutes from our hotel took 2 hours. We were walking to our seats just as they started the first notes of “Message in a Bottle” so we didn’t miss anything, but many others weren’t as fortunate.
    As for Nissan, well, that’s such a nightmare it’s un-doable for anything other than a Saturday show unless you leave work early or take off the next day. It’s a nice venue, but the traffic is so bad I won’t return on a weeknight unless I get free tickets and it’s a full Beatles reunion.

  7. usiel says:

    Damn it sounds like the new score board is going to be pretty frakkin sweet. Hope to go to a few more games this season.

  8. OrderedChaos says:

    Buttercup, you’re correct that for many concerts they just cover the scoreboard. I understand that bands generally prefer their own systems since the screens/systems vay dramatically at different venues; I just hope that the appeal of such a high-end system at the Phone Booth will lead some to use the HD rather than ignore it.

  9. TG says:

    I wonder if it’s worth contacting Abe and seeing if I could buy a suite to live in. I’ll tell him to just leave the remote for the big screen when he’s gone and I’ll take care of the cable bill. Course, I don’t know if my Tivo would be compatible…

  10. RJ says:

    I just went to the first two preseason games at Ralph Wilson Stadium, where the Bills just put in a “True” HD video board. It is worth the hype it is given.
    Still doesn’t show the replays when a close call goes to the home team, though…

  11. OrderedChaos says:

    RJ, sounds like the Ralph’s screens will make the New Year’s Day outdoor NHL game even better!
    LOL TG, if you move into a suite let me know and I’ll bring a nice suitewarming gift… and then stay for many, many hours watching tv. 🙂

  12. OrderedChaos says:

    More info on the big-screen debut; I’ll report back after tomorrow night’s game!

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